OSA is the most common form of breathing sleep disorder.
Caused by an obstruction to the upper airway during sleep as a result of several factors:
- Inherent physical characteristics
- Excess weight
- Alcohol consumption before sleep
Most Common Symptoms of OSA
- Morning headaches
- Waking up sweating
- Excessive daytime sleepiness
- Frequent trips to the bathroom during the night
- Problems staying asleep (insomnia)
- Waking up and gasping for air
- Bed partner witnesses apneas
Sleep Apnea and the Cardiovascular System
- OSA worsens high blood pressure and causes wear and tear on the heart muscle by over-engaging the sympathetic response.
- High blood pressure is present in as many as 50% of people with sleep apnea.
- The relationship between sleep apnea and hypertension is especially significant in cases of intransigent hypertension.
- OSA increases the risk for ischemic heart disease, heart attacks, and stroke.
Every pause in breathing can contribute to the following:
- Oxidative stress/inflammation
- Potential for LV hypertrophy
- Increased insulin resistance
…and many patients can have as many as 100 events per hour!
Obstructive Sleep Apnea has been linked to the following Arrhythmias:
- Ventricular ectopy
- Asystole/sudden cardiac death